A big thank you to all the sponsors, presenters, and participants who helped make the first Literature in Language Teaching conference a success. We will continue to make this page available in an archive of past events.
Date: 7th September, 2014
Place: Aichi University, Toyohashi Campus
9.am – 5:30pm
Attendance fees (on site registration only):
JALT members: 1000 yen
Non-JALT members: 2000 yen
**Toyohashi JALT will provide some light refreshments on the day, including soft drinks and coffee. Presenters and attendees are advised to bring their own lunch to the venue. Some conbinis are within 10-15 minute walking distance, but there are no easily accessible restaurants for lunch**
We will have presentations on a range of topics for the day. Our call requested presentations on topics such as:
- Rationales for the use of literature in language education
- Designing content courses in literature
- Using literature as supplementary material in language courses
- Materials writing and literature
- Stories and poems to teach language to young learners
- Task-based instruction and literature
- Literature and global issues education
- Literature and cultural studies
- Gender issues in literature
- Creative writing for non-native language learners
- Using literature to teach the four skills
- Graded versus authentic literary texts
- Literature and critical thinking
- The classics v. popular literature
- Using adaptations (film, video, manga, live theater, etc.) of literary works with language learners
- Textbooks to teach literature to non-native learners
- Japanese literature in translation for language learning
Our next issues of the Journal of Literature in Language Teaching will feature proceedings papers from the conference. Presenters are invited to submit papers by 31st October, 2014. Guidelines for authors are on the submissions page here: http://liltsig.org/lilt-journal/
Marcos Benevides will talk about the ‘big picture’ when it comes to literature, and will frame his discussion about a robust discussion of lexical accessibility.
A lexical approach to developing western cultural fluency
Japanese students who study western literature in Japan typically suffer from two important deficits. The first is linguistic; that is, their English language ability is seldom up to the task of reading unadapted literary texts. The second is cultural; in particular, they often lack knowledge of the many classical and Judeo-Christian reference points which inform a majority of important works.
The linguistic deficit is relatively well understood. There is, for example, a strong consensus that learners need a vocabulary of the 3,000 or so of the most frequent words in English to read native speaker level texts at a decent rate of fluency. The cultural deficit, however, remains relatively invisible. Whereas readers normally notice when they come across unknown words, unknown references are more often overlooked. Also, unlike lexical units, it is difficult to enumerate the symbols, allusions, and archetypes that make texts rich. After all, how many New Testament parables does one need to know in order to follow Tess of the D’Urbervilles at an acceptable rate of cultural fluency? How many Greek gods do we need before we can ‘get’ Romantic poetry?
The answer, as with a lexical approach, may be that we need to begin by teaching a basic high-frequency ‘vocabulary’ of the most widely-used references in western culture. This talk is informed by the speaker’s experience developing such a system for Japanese university students.
About plenary presenter Marcos Benevides:
Marcos Benevides is an an award-winning author, editor, and teacher. His co-authored reading textbook, Fiction in Action: Whodunit (Abax), received the 2010 ESU Duke of Edinburgh Book Award and a 2011 British Council “ELTon” Award for Innovation. He is the series editor for the Choose Your Own Adventure graded reader series from McGraw-Hill, co-author of Widgets: a task-based course in practical English from Pearson, and has recently launched his own independent series of graded readers, titled Atama-ii Books. He is currently a lecturer at J. F. Oberlin University in Tokyo.